03 August, 2009

One Love - Guest Blogger, Jay Schryer

While I didn't do much this weekend, what little i did do has worn me out! So, you have a whole week of fantastic guest blogging lined up. Today's guest blogger is my dear friend, Jay Schryer. Jay first encountered the Goddess during a near death experience at the age of 19. Since that time, he has spent a great deal of time studying various religions including generic Paganism, Wicca, Asatru, Buddhism, Shinto, and Cherokee spirituality. He is very interested in searching for universal answers and trying to find common threads among the different religions and spiritual systems of the world. Within the past year, he has turned his search more inward, listening to his own intuition instead of the voices of "experts".

Mostly, Jay is just trying to find himself, and his place in the world. You can read more about him on his blog Porsidan, where he explores spirituality, life, and the meaning behind it all.

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should.

One life
With each other: Sisters, Brothers.
One life, but we're not the same -
We get to carry each other.

Carry each other

~U2, One

I love the music of U2, and I really love this collaboration between Mary J. Blige and U2 on their hit song, One. I love the melody, and her voice is just incredible. The first time I heard this version, I was left speechless.

Songs lend themselves to different interpretations to different people. Many people only hear a beautiful, slightly-haunting love song. Bono himself has stated publicly that the song is about inner turmoil within the band, and how they almost split up after a concert one night. For me, this is an intensely spiritual song, a gentle reminder from the Goddess telling us what life is all about, or rather what it should be all about.

We live our lives on the surface. Office politics, PTA meetings, the endless shuffling of ourselves and our children from place to place, event to event, activity to activity. Fast food and TV dinners have taken the place of dinner at home. Rolodexes and daily planners filled to the point of bursting, we hurry up and wait through our days and collapse into silent heaps of desperation at night. Rinse and repeat, over and over again.

We give of our time, but only half-heartedly. Emails and text messages, tweets and status updates, a quick call to let someone know we're running late, traffic is horrible. Yeah, yeah, I'll be with you in a sec. Just let me check my email real quick. I can't stay long, got places to go and people to see, ya know.

And the whole time, we're starving. We're aching for human touch, for a genuine connection. We long for someone to sit with us, to be with us, to listen to us, and to really hear what we have to say. To bond. To sympathize. To be able to look into the eyes of another human being and say: "Yes, I see you. I see the real you. I see the you who is hiding underneath everything you pretend to be, everything you have to be out there. I see your hopes, your dreams, and your fears. I see your wounds, and your scars - the battles you have fought along your path to this moment, this time. I see your pain, your shame, and your suffering. And I see your strength, your determination, and your courage that it took to move beyond the pain, and to heal yourself. I see the love that is you, reflected in the love that comes from you. In short, I see myself in you, and I want you to see yourself in me."

That's all anyone ever wants, really. To know that we're not alone, and to know that we are understood, loved, and accepted just as we are. We're starving for genuine human connections, just as we're starving for our connection to the Divine. The good news is that it's right there...always with us. If we can just learn to slow down and give it to each other, we can heal ourselves, and heal the world around us.

Because we're one, but we're not the same. We get to carry each other. Carry each other.


  1. Beautiful, Jay! I've always loved that song, but now I love it even more! You have such a way with words... and songs... and words about songs. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. @Lisis - I'm glad I helped deepen your love for this song. It really is great, isn't it? Thank you for your kind words, and for being such a great friend!

  3. Jay,
    What you've written here is incredibly moving. It's that human connection with others that helps us ourselves to connect with our own inner spirit. What I find interesting for me, is that sometimes this is easier online. Where there's no facade to keep up - I find it so easy to be real. And really, in doing this, I also find that I become more open to these genuine in-person connections too. And that's such a fulfilling feeling. Jay, I love the interpretation of this song and what it means to you. Wonderful!

  4. I love this post, Jay. You speak from your heart, and what you say rings true with so many of us as a result.

    The life you describe, the life that so many of us live, is one of the reasons I chose to leave the States and experience life in another country -- preferably one that wasn't so fast-paced. Greece is not at all perfect, but I have found a slower life there ... and one that isn't dictated by the very strange American credo of "The busier I look, the more important I am. Therefore, I must be very busy." I got tired of seeing people compare schedules and wear their busy-ness almost as a badge of honor. And since coming back for the summer, I've found that it's still true.

    One of the things I've noticed on this brief summer sojourn is that people are less apt to talk to me in person than they are on voicemail, text, twitter and FB. This runs very counter to the life I've lived in Greece these last 3 years ... where even though mobile phones are THE thing, people still would prefer to talk in person, meet for a coffee, spend time together. So, guess what? I've been that lonely person in your post that you've described so well ... and I've been that a lot. Because, hello, FB'ing just isn't a replacement for "being" with someone. You know?

    I will get off my soapbox now. Suffice it to say that I agreed with most everything you said. You don't live behind a facade, and it seems that many of our blogging friends don't either. Which is why I love y'all ... and why I wonder, "When are we going to have a symposium and all get together?!" :)

    Sending love today.

  5. Jay,
    I was very moved by this post. Especially this: We're starving for genuine human connections, just as we're starving for our connection to the Divine. The good news is that it's right there...always with us. If we can just learn to slow down and give it to each other, we can heal ourselves, and heal the world around us.

    I love how you speak your truth. Thank you for sharing this part of you. Words can be healing and yours are.

  6. @Lance - Thank you, Lance! As always, you leave the best comments. At least this is *one* time that you can't comment before I do! :D

  7. A very moving post about something I used to think ought to be obvious. I remember reading a study of which nations were the happiest. The USA was far down the list. The happiest country? Mexico. I wondered why a fairly poor nation had happier people.

    It seems the more technology we have to contact people around the world, the less we seem to focus on those right at hand. Or maybe it's the other way around. Anyway, it seems the less technological nations have happier people, having either chosen or been forced to focus on those who are nearer.

    I agree with ChaniaGirl, and I wish I had the stamina to move away from where I am to somewhere simpler. Thanks for another great post, Jay.

  8. Came here from Jay's blog to visit.

    What you wrote is so true Jay, and so clear.

    Human touch is so vital, as is being understood, being seen, and being connected face to face.

    Computers actually create a distance we can do without...

  9. Whoa. I'm falling a bit behind on the comments. Stupid day job :)

    @Chania Girl - So basically, you *were* where I *am*, on the busy-ness continuum. I'm glad that you were able to escape, and that you found so much happiness in Greece. You speak so highly of it, I'm tempted to move there myself!

    As for a "get together" that would be awesome, wouldn't it? My vote is to have it in Greece after you move back!

    @mama of 6 - I'm glad you found healing in these words, my friend. That's the greatest joy of blogging - being able to help others.

    @Dot - It *is* odd that the more ways we have to connect with people, the less we actually connect with them. I'm with you (and Chania Girl), I think the answer is to move somewhere simpler. That's why I feel so drawn to the beaches and islands of the world. It's the "island lifestyle" that appeals to me so much. As Lisis would say, it's the Costa Rican way of life!

    @Loving Annie - There really is no substitue for face-to-face connections, is there? It's always so much better to actually be "present" with loved ones. Not just together in person, but actively engaged with each other.

  10. What a great post, Jay! I've always loved the song "One" and it was so great to read about what it means to you. Thanks for sharing this here. It was a fabulous guest post! :)

  11. @Positively Present - Thank you, Dani! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  12. That's fantastic! I've always loved that U2 song, in particular, and as you said it's meant different things at different times in my life. Perspective always weighs in.
    Something you said reminded me of a friend who just a couple months ago, for the first time and out of the blue said, "I see you, Megan. I see you." At first, I didn't understand, and then suddenly I felt a wave of gratitude wash over me. He sees me --- what a lovely, wonderful, perfect, incredible, always wanted gift.
    Happy Monday to you, Jay & Mercedes!

  13. @Megan - I was just thinking about perspective in a completely different context earlier today, so thank you for that synchronicity! On a more serious level, I'm glad that you had that experience of someone "seeing" you. It really is a rare and precious gift. Happy Monday to you, too!

  14. Jay, beautiful post, and always nice to discover a new blog this way too. I am so with you on the 'genuine connection' theme, I have been pondering that a lot lately. I love being online and connecting to like-minded individuals, but it is too easy for me to fall into that 'just one more minute' mindset, and forget the people right in front of me, the people I can touch.
    I love this idea of 'seeing' others truly, and also believe in seeing our true selves in this way. I think that is what so-called 'spiritual' moments are really all about for me, when all is said and done. Seeing beneath what separates me from my deeper myself, or the illusion I am separate from others. It really is all about connection.

  15. @Mommy Mystic - I'm so glad you stopped by today. I'm right with you: I love those little "spiritual" moments, too. As I'm becoming more "aware", I'm having more of them, and I love that!

  16. Oh Sweet, you made me cry again and it's not even 9am.
    You have a knack for seeing through the 'stuff' into the heart of things... and I love this song! xxx

  17. This is great! While I am not spiritual or religious, I could not agree with you more than about the human connection. We fill our voids with material things, emails, running from meeting to meeting, etc. Our lives pass us by in the meantime. Very thought provoking! Melissa

  18. "Because we're one, but we're not the same. We get to carry each other. Carry each other."

    I will put this quote on my desk in a place of prominence. You're really hit upon something very special here, Jay. We are one. This whole world is one. We should celebrate sharing this world, in our own unique way.

    I've been carried far in this world, and I can only hope carry others as far as they've carried me. Thanks, Jay. Great post...

    Nice to meet you, Mercedes.

  19. @Cyberia - We're gonna have to establish a rule that says you can't read my stuff until *after* work, dear one. :) I'm glad it touched you so deeply, though...

    @Melissa - I'm glad you enjoyed it! Even without being spiritual or religious, we all are human, and we long for those genuine connections. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the post, because that means that I managed to speak to a broader audience than I even hoped for, and that means a lot to me.

  20. @Lori - That really is a great quote, isn't it? I think you bring up an important point: All of us have been carried at some point in our lives. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget that when our time comes to carry others.

  21. Hi Jay,
    We're both right there, tired of treading water to stay above the surface. Sometimes it's actually easier to take a deep breath and just dive in. Thanks for being you.


Thank you for taking the time to not only read my blog, but to comment as well. Bright Blessings of the day to you!